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ND Women’s Basketball: Academics motivate Holloway off the court

Aaron Sant-Miller | Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Every year, select athletes are nominated to their conference All-Academic team. Irish junior guard Whitney Holloway is one of the mainstays on that list, having been nominated to the Big East All-Academic team both of the past two seasons as a freshman and as a sophomore.

“The nomination means a lot to me,” Holloway said. “Balancing school and basketball is very hard. To be able to keep my grades up while playing for one of the best coaches and programs in the country is great. It makes me feel good about myself and motivates me to keep my grades up so that I can get back on that list.”

Not only is Holloway juggling regular coursework and varsity athletics, but the junior Psychology major also carries a minor in Business Economics.

“I figured a background is business would open a lot of doors after my time here, but my interests are more in psychology,” Holloway said. “I like psychology because it’s not like your basic math or science, where you have one set answer. In class, I’m never bored. I’m really interested in the material the professors are teaching, and it’s just a really fun thing to learn about.”

Though she possesses an inherent interest in the subject matter, juggling schoolwork and sports is no easy task.

“In the spring, it’s the hardest because you miss so many classes,” Holloway said. “Sometimes we’re gone for almost a week straight. It’s really hard missing all of the material they go over in class and I end up having to teach myself all the material from the book on my own.”

Not only do athletes miss classes, but Holloway also said the constant travel and regular games could wear players down.

“Having to do your homework on the road or the hotel isn’t easy,” she said. “Hotel beds are really comfy, and you’re really tired. You just want to sleep in them. You can’t though; you have to stay up and do your work. It’s really challenging to get your stuff done when you’re away from school.”

For Holloway, her time at Notre Dame isn’t all about academics. Last season, the junior guard averaged 2.7 points per game while shooting over 47 percent from the field. Though her scoring numbers did not top the team, Holloway believes her strengths lie at the other end of the court.

“On the court, my on-ball defense is definitely my strength,” Holloway said. “I’m good at pressuring the opposing point guard and making her uncomfortable.”

Though, as expected, not all of Holloway’s goals are located within the lines.

“There is an adidas networking event I’m going to next week,” Holloway said. “I would love to work for adidas; I think that would be a really cool job. I don’t want to be in an office, and I think working for them would be really exciting.”

Still, the junior has two years left at Notre Dame, both in the ACC. As expected, her eyes aren’t far from another conference All-Academic nomination.

“That’s the goal, to get nominated again,” Holloway said. “That’s always a goal.”

Currently, No. 6 Notre Dame is ranked among the best teams in the country. On Monday, the Irish topped No. 19 Michigan State 81-62.

“The game against Michigan State was just a big win,” Holloway said. “It gave us a ton of confidence. I think it’s going to be a really good season and I’m excited to see how far we get.”

On Saturday, the Irish will return to action when they host Valparaiso at 2 p.m. at Purcell Pavilion. 

Contact Aaron Sant-Miller at asantmil@nd.edu